to trade these hands
for a house in the forest, landed
on a hill above any risk of flood, but near
a flowing stream
to tear off the shingles
for an open view, converse with hawks,
whisk out the stale air and leave
the smell of rain
to untie myself from this ball-bearing spinning
spider’s lair, empty that middle drawer and fill it
with the crust of shattered seeds, still green enough
to keep, keep
to help me make sense
of the seasons and explain the age of the moon,
keep them as momentums of gratitude, candy wrappers
or the dropped feather from a favourite pet – proof
of something once solid, soft and natural
to set the barn on fire
after everyone has moved out, and not
a swallow or mouse remains, gamble everything
on the gospel pages. This
I am going to do, sooner than it takes a tide to
rise. I am going out the window, out on the street,
my face remade like when in the womb.
At first my loved ones will say Who?
Not before long, they will join me.
There on the street we will gather, cloistered as one.
There we will count to three, set out to race,
nothing at our heels, wide, in all directions.
.© 2018 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Merak” March 2019
You can listen to the poem by clicking below: